Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Story of Us...so far

Oh wow, I've been away from the blog world for a very long time.  That would be because it takes time.  Time is precious.  So, we've got some pretty exciting news.  I know you would love for me to just go ahead and spill but you're going to have to wait.  : )
First, let me tell you about this amazing man I met in 2004.  Didn't really know him until 2005, but I was given a heads up on his amazing good looks in 2004.  I go to the physical aspects because I was unaware of his awesome personality at this time.  I really noticed "Mr. P" in March.  I was student teaching for my grad program and he was a teacher at the school.  By April, we were official.

April 2005
 Photo taken in Orlando, FL
at the birth of Brent's nephew, Brennan

By that December....December 19, 2005 (what would be our baby boy's b-day 3 years later) we were engaged.
NY at Christmas

Icy, red, cold left hand...but so worth it.

9 months later...we were married.  June 3, 2006

Check it..I'm a wife! : )

Where in the world is all of this going, you ask?  Well, a family has been built around this beautiful relationship.  It would not be a family without these 2, and the crazy love that began 8 years ago.  I am beyond blessed with this man and what he means to me and his beautiful babies.  A preacher once shared, "stop focusing on your kids.... if you focus on your spouse, your kids will turn out just fine."

Well, on to those beautiful babies....
Asher- Dec. 19, 2008- Our thinker, leader, listener, silly boy will a great sense of humor
Sloan- April 10, 2011- Whoa momma...our smart, strong willed, crazy girl who can make everyone laugh 

Wow, do these beautiful babies bring JOY.  Such joy.  A fullness to this house that is only capable from little feet, loud voices, "Mom, Mom, Mom,"screams of glee and screams of dissatisfaction (and these can be within seconds of each other), and such gratefullness to The One above who has blessed us with it all.

And still, we prayed.  Can we say we are done?  Brent knows that by the end of my day as a stay at home mom...I'm done.  As a self-employeed business owner, our bank account isn't quite what it once was.  Our private insurance has no maternity.  A $10,000 or so third child is in question here.  Is money what it's all about or is it my sanity by the end of the day?  So many questions...so many prayers...but still, our arms felt they could hold a little more.  Could our family photo be a little more full? 

(there is a little space there in the middle)  : )

God decided it could.
And now folks, after all of that waiting...  Brent and I are thrilled to announce that the 3rd and final chapter of the Petersen family will be joining us around March 10, 2014.  Asher will turn 5 the December before, and Sloan will turn 3 the following month.  Sounds like His perfect plan to me.  Thanking God for our many blessings as we will soon be The Petersen's, Party of 5!

Aug. 5, 2013
Waiting at our 9 wk appt.
 *Disclosure: Electronics are loved but highly monitored.  This is quite a treat.

And the reveal...
little brother or sister at 9 wks.

 Currently, 11 wks. Feeling great for the most part!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ready to Save

     Oh My Goodness....9 months, really?  Has it really been that long since I've made time to sit and think and type.  I do love getting thoughts down but I guess I really only make time for thoughts that follow the title "To Do."  Well, one thing that seems to drive me to my computer, to share, to think, to change is an overwhelming need to do so driven by my beliefs.  Sundays seem to do that to me.  I love our church.  I love that the lights dim, I can sip my coffee (Shh...they prefer no drinks but it has a lid : ) the nursery has our babies (and the sitters are free).  I take notes and listen for answers to questions on our worksheet on topics that I am passionate about all while snuggled close to my husband.  I joke that church is like a date!  And it's a date that I don't like to miss.  Before going on, I want to share a song that we sang today.  I love our music, few things have the ability to speak to me so clearly as the music at our church.  The song is "Rooftops" by Jesus Culture.
     Next, I'll go on into how God spoke to me today.  Ok, backtrack a little and I'll share that Brent bought his company back from the hospital which owned a portion of it.  This was back in June.  He dropped his salary because we were now self-employeed and found it most important to make sure that CORE continued to be successful.  We were no longer covered for insurance through the hospital but we were now having to pay for private insurance.  Brent has made many changes but I've continued to do my thing.  Well, my thing wasn't cutting it with our new salary and self-employeed status.  No, no debt or anything but no saving either.  Yes, I've done the Dave Ramsey thing through the church but I didn't do anything differently then either.  But, 2 weeks ago, I decided I wanted to budget.  I realize this is something that some do regularly but we just never did.  I sat down, wrote down all monthly expenses and after designating money towards savings, I broke the remaining money down into groceries, clothing/toiletries, and dinner out.  Not saying this works for others but that's where the majority of my money goes.  Things weren't looking too rough, I thought.  Somehow, I had completely forgotten tithing!?!  I thought we tithed but when looking more closely, no, it was not 10%.  I tried to remember to grab a check every Sunday, but I didn't always.  I would then write the check for what I considered a decent amount of money although I wasn't keeping track to make sure it was 10% of our total salary, which it wasn't.  Well, budgeting sure is a great way to make sure you're covering that tithe.
     Back to the drawing board, oh wow...yep, just cut grocery in half, and had to pull some from clothing/toiletries and dinner out as well.  I can honestly say that this new cash system truly excited me. After leaving the bank, I was excited.  Sure I'll stop and get food for me and the kids from Zaxby's, it's a beautiful day for a front porch picnic.  The kids and I love these.  I have a card that allows for a free appetizer any time I spend more than $5.  So, free appetizer and one meal for the kids and I to all share for $7.  Well, let's just say that it's been much more difficult than I realized and money went faster than I ever knew it would.  I still enjoy the challenge and I'm excited to see the results at the end of the month.  Well, if in a bind, we still have money going into savings and all that money going towards tithing that we can pull from, right?  Wrong.
     Today's service- Giving.  Yep, God wanted to make sure I understood that giving back to Him was a spiritual decision.  It's not how much money we have in the bank but how much God we have in our heart.  Our resources follow our affections.  Yep, this girl likes food and clothes.  Well, are those things as important as the fact that every day people are dying?  Unchurched people.  We're losing the battle of souls so that we can grab food conveniently or buy things that we want instead of need?  66% of Lexington County is unchurched!  Makes me almost get sick in my mouth!  The first place I tend to look is in my very own neighborhood.  Great neighborhood, good, sweet people, but way too many cars in driveways on Sunday morning.  We've skipped church due to kid sickness and I didn't even want to be spotted in the yard doing yard work.  What kind of witness would I be?  I am but one person.  One person who loves God but wasn't giving to Him what was His.  I'm now a budgeting mama and having fun with it.  God has been added to my budget.  Is He in yours?
Luke 12:48 When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

12:00 Scare


So, last night kids went down after eating a new recipe of cabbage rolls cooked in the crock pot, a fun bath together, and cuddles and stories.  I was enjoying a little "Bachelor," Brent was turning in early because of his 6 am run, and basically, I was wasting time on the ipad and watching mindless TV (I'm a multitasker). : )  After I finally told myself that I HAD to go to bed, the Sloan alarm goes off at 7am sharp, and it was midnight, I went upstairs and thought I heard Sloan whimpering.  This is quite odd to be honest.  She goes down between 7-8 and sleeps until 7.  If she does wake, it's a brief fuss while she tries to get comfortable again.  We don't go in the room and she doesn't expect us to so it's a great routine.  Well, after watching her on the monitor for a while, I noticed that she sounded hoarse and she would make a face as if she was in pain after each random cough.  I then noticed that she was pulling the chest of her PJ's and I was worried she may have gotten sick in her crib.  Brent and I agreed that I should go to her.  I then noticed that she was trembling after I picked her up and wheezing for breath.
     So, she felt warm, was trembling, was struggling to breathe, and didn't seem to want to stop crying.  I brought her back to our room and watched as she flexed her legs as if each breath was truly a struggle.  We called our on-call pediatrician who asked if Sloan was looking blue, fortunately she was not but since we live maybe 10 minutes from the hospital she recommended we bring her in because it would not be good if she were to stop breathing at home....CLEARLY.  So, we swept Asher out of bed, put shoes on over his full zip up PJ's and were out the door.  Yes, I had on glasses, a zip up fleece, and flannel plaid pants and I couldn't have cared less.  In our anxiousness, Brent turns the wrong way and we take the long way to the hospital.  I could barely let myself release Sloan long enough to place her in her car carrier and I squeezed in between my 2 babies in the back.
     During the short trip, her breathing was slowly getting better.  Brent dropped me off at the ER entrance while he parked, and I got out cuddling my baby girl who now seemed to be breathing fine.  Yes, by the time we walked in the ER she was smiling and waving at nurses behind the counter and she had no fever.  Crazy, crazy night.  Long story short, it seems she had a croup attack.  I had been thinking allergic reaction, asthma, but croup?  They were glad we brought her in but did say that croup is very common and this is the time of year it is likely to hit.  They said she probably cleared up so quickly because the cool night air is what they recommend for croup anyway.  I just had no clue that it could come so quickly and violently even when there are no prior sinus issues.  I've talked to some of my friends today because I want them to be aware of croup.  It can be so scary and I'm sure when we receive the hospital bill we'll also realize it can be costly.  We were given a prescription for a liquid steroid to help with her inflamed airways and told to give her ibuprofen.  I am just so thankful that all is well and our baby girl is breathing much better with the occasional seal cough.  Croup seems to hit at night so now I'll be prepared.  Hopefully, this blog will have some of you prepared as well.  Better yet, I hope you don't have to experience anything like our 12:00 scare.  Just so thankful that baby girl isn't wheezing anymore.  Such a horrible and helpless feeling.          

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh baby...

Can you believe the beauty of this little girl? 

I can't.  No way.  I could stare at her for hours.  This post is mainly going to be about my baby girl.  I am so in love.  I think daily, "I have a baby."  I try to treasure and hold on to this because it goes so fast!  Sloan is 9 months.  She needs me.  She fits easily on my hip, and I hold her with one arm.  I still provide nourishment to her and she has yet to have an ounce of formula.  While putting her down during her morning nap, afternoon nap, and at bedtime, I get to hold her in my arms as she lies completely still.  It's part of her routine and it's the only time during the day that we truly get to snuggle.  As I pace the room with her head on my chest, her paci in mouth, and a blanket over her, I look in the mirror and see her little feet dangling out from beneath.  Oh how I love this.  Don't they say, it's all about the little things?  Oh baby girl, you melt my heart.

Now, let me get to the part that makes my heart hurt.  The part that I'm struggling with the most these days. Before Sloan joined us, I felt guilt.  On the way to the hospital on April 9, I could not discuss the fact that I was leaving my sweet boy.  The slight mention of it brought tears to my eyes.  Then, at 12:40 am, April 10, I held my sweet daughter.  I did not know this new life, this new little personality, but I loved her.  Our lives had changed so much, so fast.  Then Asher meets his new sister, I was in tears, but all was well.  He kissed her over and over and over.  He then quickly focused his attention on any snacks we had in the hospital room.  We brought Sloan home and all was still well!  He wanted to hold her all the time.  He set out diaper changing supplies without me even asking.  Such a sweet big brother.  He still loves to give her snacks and he was so good at sharing his toys.  

And boy can he make her laugh like no other.

Well, recently things have been changing.  It's gotten to the point where I hear Sloan fuss or start crying and I think, what did he do?  The other day he tried to tickle her neck but kind of choked her and left her screaming.  He's gotten so rough.  I'm having the hardest time feeling like all I do when Sloan is around is fuss at Asher.  I feel that the love that I show to her is so easy.  Even when she's doing something she shouldn't be doing, I speak to her in a sing song voice..."Sloan....what.... are.... you..... doing....?"  And often it's even said with a smile!  Babies are so easy to love.

Let's just say I take a different tone when talking to Asher.  It's not sing song and it's usually loud.  I try to give him positive attention any chance that I can.  He loves Sloan.  He will tell you that in an instant.  So I guess I'm just having trouble understanding why he chooses to make her mad, lay on her, poke her, take things from her, repeatedly close doors on her or in her face even though he knows it always leaves her upset.  I get so frustrated and I feel like a horrible mom at times.  I welcome advice.  I don't see his actions as cruel.  I think they are to be expected.  I just want to know the best way to deal with them.  Is there something that I can do to make him think before acting?  I know he doesn't understand her frailty as he coaxes her to follow him up the stairs.  I just feel like my love for them is so different right now: To her, I am still her provider, nurturer, protector.  To him, I provide, I mold, I teach, I discipline.  From a mother who feels loves equally but differently, can anyone relate? 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On my mind...

(Pause music at the bottom of the screen to view videos)
I have been wanting to blog and to be honest, I've been blogging in my head for weeks now.  So many things I've wanted to share, things I think others should be thinking about, I honestly just don't have the time.  Even now, there are other things I should be doing but I've just decided that this is going to be priority (for this nap time at least.) 

     First on my mind....http://www.wltx.com/news/article/165987/2/Man-is-charged-for-DUI-in-Fatal-Crash-Killing-6-year-old

     What a horrible and sad tragedy.  This family goes to my church and were headed there when they were hit by a drunk driver on New Year's Day.  This family was doing exactly what they should have been doing by starting the new year in God's house, praising him.  I actually drove through this intersection today while running errands and I saw the lines painted in the road marking the impact.  I had a discussion with Brent about this drunk driver.  I explained that he's in his 20's and to be drunk on a Sunday morning around 10:20, I'm going to guess he does not have a family or kids of his own.  There is no way he can comprehend what he has done to this family.  I'm sure there is grief and regret but to truly know the impact, I believe you have to be a parent.  Long ago, before Brent and I even had children, I expressed my desire to have a boy AND a girl.  I wanted to experience life with both.  I used to joke after having Asher, "Well, if the next one is a boy, then we'll be having a 3rd....well, if the 3rd is a boy, then we'll be having a 4th."  I'm not sure how many we would have had maybe as many as the Duggars (or how many we still will) but I love children and I love being a mom.  I can't say this is the situation with the Longstreet family but to have 3 boys and then Emma, I can bet they were thrilled to welcome a baby girl.  Not only was the Longstreet's family changed forever but their extended family, their friends, Midway Elementary, Northside Baptist, and even the drunk driver's family.  All of this was caused by the choice to get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol.  At a Christmas party, I was talking to a highway patrolman who was saying that I would not believe the number of drivers driving under the influence.  My response to this was, "Oh my goodness, those are only the ones who happen to be pulled over!"  Imagine those who are never caught.  I have no particular reason to bring attention to this tragedy other than to encourage prayer for all of those whose lives have been changed, possibly cause someone to think about the consequences of driving drunk, and encourage a relationship with the Father.  I am so thankful that the Longstreet family knows where Emma is and knows that they will meet again.

Another story that has moved me recently is that of Ben Breedlove and his sister's speech at his funeral.  I know, I know, enough with the sad stuff already but then that's life.  Ben got a glimpse of Heaven and he could not explain the peace that he felt there.  Our life on earth is filled with sadness and I've mentioned before that our preacher has said, "If you aren't in your storm now, one day you will be..."  I daily, and sometimes multiple times daily THANK GOD that all is well in my life.  Of my closest family members and friends, none are currently suffering or fighting a life threatening illness.  I am so blessed right now, but I know this is my earthly life and unfortunately it brings heartache and loss at times.  I know that there is a life after this one.  One of my favorite shows is I Survived: Beyond and Back on the Bio Channel.  We will see Brent's mom, and Asher and Sloan's Mimi, my dad's parents, all of Brent's grandparents, and so many other's who have accepted Christ and gone on before us.  I am comforted to know that when my Storm does come...and it will, that I will not go through it alone.  It will not be easy.  I will need prayers.  But who better to have with me than the God with supernatural powers that can bring supernatural healing.  I pray this for the Longstreet and Breedlove families. 

The Storm, Casting Crowns


Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's that time! Has it really been 3 years?

Oh my little man...  Wow, didn't think I'd get so emotional, but thinking of my baby boy and what he means to me burns my eyes.  3 years ago today, I was in labor.  I was 36 weeks and 6 days.  I drove to the hospital after teaching a full day of kindergarten and had Brent drive from Sumter to meet me there.  I called the assistant principal in tears while alone and pacing the hospital room.  I told her that they weren't going to let me leave and that they wanted to proceed with induction due to leaking amniotic fluid.  I wasn't due until January 8th and I had planned to do so many things in those last few weeks.  We did not have bags packed, we had planned to purchase our travel system over Christmas break, which was to start the following day.  It was a Thursday and I had been looking forward to the class party on Friday and I felt I was letting my kids down.  Plus, I'm a planner and this wasn't part of my plan, but I put it in God's hands, and Brent coached me through a natural childbirth.  Our sweet Asher was born at 1:30 am, Friday, December 19 weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz. and 19 in.

The Miracle of Life

Sleepy but so in love...

Our first family picture

I remember that first night of sleep.  Such an amazing feeling.  So in love with my new baby boy.  I slept in the hospital bed with Asher in his bassinet right beside me and Brent on the couch on the other side of the bassinet.  Any little noise Asher would make would stir us and our hands would often meet as we both just had to put them on our little miracle while he slept.  It was surreal thinking that our love and marriage created this beautiful life. 

I was in love.

And I still am.

I'm treasuring the last hours of being able to say that I have a 2 year old.  When he wakes in the morning, he'll be 3, and I'll be in denial.  The love you have for a child is so amazing.  Oh my has he been able to push my buttons recently.  He really wants nothing to do with me.  He's all about his daddy.  He gets me every day and much of that time is distracted time while I'm doing other chores or caring for Sloan.  He gets daddy for an hour every evening, on Fridays and the weekends.  Daddy time=play time.  I'm Ok with this.  Because I get to stay at home, he doesn't think my time with him is as valuable, but I also know that Brent is an AMAZING daddy.  My children are so blessed and I don't blame Asher for loving him the way that he does.  One can't help but making the correlation between the unconditional love we have for our children to the love of the Father.  God loves us even when we push his buttons and want nothing to do with Him.  I thank God daily for Asher's health, sense of humor, pride, strong will, shocking intelligence, and sweet, sensitive heart.  God has big plans for our little 2 year old.  I'm so glad I was chosen as this precious boy's "mom."  Happy Birthday to my "little man" and Brent's "best buddy."  We are so blessed to have you, and it's hard to remember a time before you, but one thing is for sure, you make our day's brighter, our arms fuller, and our hearts overflow.